Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Recipe: Cheesy Apple Pie



Apple pie is my favourite dessert. I could eat it all day long with a massive dollop of creamy vanilla ice cream. Pilgrims Choice kindly sent me a voucher to try out their cheese in the apple pie with a twist. At first I wasn't too sure but loved the sweet and savoury mix. These aren't the prettiest of pictures but who ever said apple pie was pretty?! Excuse my patchy pastry, it was my first time making the darn stuff and it was a lot more fiddling than I thought. Especially when it didn't expand in the fridge due to my lack of cling film. I only had enough for the top! You live and learn!

I slightly adapted the originally recipe to what I already had in the house.

Ingredients:
For the pastry:
225 plain flour, sieved
50g baking spread
75g of lard, cubed
75g of grated mature cheddar
4 tbsps of cold water

For the filling:
450g Bramley Apples, peeled, quartered and cored
450g Braeburn Apples, peeled, quartered and cored
50g caster sugar
1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
1 medium egg - beaten for glazing

You'll need a nice pie dish too.

1. Pre heat the oven to 220 degrees, 425 degrees or Gas Mark 7.

2. Put the flour, better and lard into a large mixing bowl. Rub both the butter and lard together with your fingertips into the flour to make fine breadcrumbs. Add the grated cheese and water to create a soft dough. Knead it for around a minute. Wrap it tightly in some cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

3. Pop the apple quarters in a large bowl and mix together.

4. Fetch the pastry out of the fridge and roll out a little less than half to approx 30 cm in diameter to line the base and sides of the dish, trim the edges and keep them to make an apple for decoration.

5. Pop the apple slices in the dish and sprinkle them with the sugar and cinnamon.

6. Roll out the remaining pastry to 40cm in diameter. Brush the rim of the pastry base with a little of the beaten egg and carefully put the lid on top of the filled base. Press the edges together and trim the edges.

7. Knead the trimmings back together to make your apple shape. Then pop it on once you're happy with it.

8. Make a small hole in the centre of the pastry lid with a skewer to help let the steam escape.

9. Cook in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature down to 190 degree, 375 degrees or Gas Mark 5 and cook for a further 40 minutes or until golden brown.

10. Make sure you keep an eye on it as different ovens cook at different speeds - mine was actually ready at 30 minutes!

11. Enjoy in front of the telly with your favourite ice cream!

As always I'd love to know if you attempt this, please do tweet me your creations. Thanks for the cheese Pilgrims Choice! 



Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Why I love blogging


Blogging is a funny old business isn't it? It changed a great deal since I first started over five years ago and has really exploded. I still remember the day I pressed publish on my very first post. I was sitting round my boyfriend's house messing around on my laptop while he was concentrating on the football. I'd been reading through a few of my favourite blogs and thought 'you know what? I can do that'. They'd been badgering us at Uni to start a blog as it would be good for our portfolio. I decided I had nothing to lose and lost myself writing a few meaningless words. The rest is history and I've never looked back.

Hand on my heart, this blog is the best thing i've ever done. It gets a lot of flack in the real world and even in 2014 the average person doesn't really know what it is. My friends still scratch their heads at the thought of me posting my mug on the internet on a weekly basis. My 'blog face' has become a running joke. But it's thanks to this little site on the internet that I've had some of the best experiences of my life.

I've been taken to Paris, been gifted some wonderful clothes by some of my favourite brands, appeared on companies own blogs, been taken out for dinner and been treated to lots of fun evenings out. It still blows my mind when I get an email in my inbox regarding this blog. I can't believe they're interested in little old me!

I also met some of the best girls I have had the pleasure of knowing. I was always very much 'one of the lads' and didn't really have a solid big group of girl friends to call my own. This soon changed. We first started talking to each other on Twitter, then meeting in person at events, then meeting before events to go for dinner, then meeting just for dinner and finally going round and having sleepovers at each other's houses. Now they're no longer just 'internet' friends but just good old friends. Friends I know I can count on to tell me if i'm being an idiot - we all need that - and who will be a shoulder to lean on when it all gets a bit too much. It's amazing what the internet can do. You all know who you are!

If you're thinking of starting a blog, just take the plunge. You won't regret it. I don't know if I'll ever stop, after five years it's still not old hat. I love thinking up new blog posts and taking pictures. It still gives me a fuzzy feeling when I gain a new follower or a comment. I may not be as well developed as other blogs or have a massive following but i'm very much proud of this place on the internet. It's been a fantastic ride.


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Leopard



Outfit:
Leopard print faux fur coat: c/o FandF
Grey chunky knit cropped jumper: c/o Next (similar)
Pleather midi skirt: Pretty Little Thing (similar)
Croc print chunky heeled shoes: c/o FandF
Purple floral phone case: c/o Inconemesis

Can I just say how utterly amazing is this coat? So warm and snuggly! I managed to snag an invite to the Florence and Fred SS preview throw work and we were very kindly given a voucher in the goodie bag. I'd seen this coat on other blogs and knew immediately it had to be mine. It's such a bargain at under £40. It's a good job we don't have a clothing section in my local Tesco as i'd be spending an absolute fortune. I've recently upgraded to an iPhone 5 - so with the times I know! - so it must have been fate when Iconemesis emailed to see if I wanted to try out a new phone case. I went for a floral design and thought the colours seemed lovely and wintery.

This weekend will be spent with lots of cinema trips to see The Hunger Games and a sneak preview of Paddington tomorrow in London. I think i'm more excited by the latter if i'm honest. Paddington's a cheeky chap isn't he? Other than that I have a hot date with my best friend tonight in the form of pjs, apple pie and a takeaway. The only way to watch The X Factor.

What are your plans for the weekend?